Fran Parker

Fran spent all of her career working in nonprofits and government, most recently as a Health Promotion Specialist at the Mesa County Health Department. She’s now exploring retirement, balancing multiple new opportunities to reinvent herself with the heavy demands of her two feline dependents, Daisy and Lily.  She moved to the Grand Valley from Wisconsin in 2006.

January 18, 2017
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Staying Sharp in Retirement (Part 2)

by Fran Parker Now eight months into retirement, I’m continuing to blog on the theme I started in November.  I’m using the book Staying Sharp, by Henry Emmons, MD and David Alter, Ph.D. as a guide to assessing how I’m doing with my goal of cultivating a healthy, active brain […]
November 2, 2016
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Staying sharp in retirement (Part 1)

by Fran Parker I’m finishing up month five of retirement and boy do I love it! As I left my job on June 1, I stated my intent to spend the summer and fall relaxing and having fun.   After that, I’d think about whether I was going to seek out […]
July 5, 2016
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Fran gets her spunk back

by Fran Parker June 1 was my last day of paid employment…I think. At various times in the past month, I’ve described my new status as retired…..or semi-retired.  The one thing that I’ve been very sure of is that I am taking the summer and fall off.  I need time […]
April 26, 2016
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With a Little Help from Our Friends

by Fran Parker Last August, I blogged about being a “spinster” and the importance of having a more deliberate approach to creating community as I get older.  In the blog and others, I’ve worried about how I’ll get the support I need as I grow older and recognized my need […]
November 30, 2015
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Ed

by Fran Parker I was very sad to hear that Ed Ruland died on September 14.  I didn’t know him extremely well or for very long, but he made a lasting impression on me.  I met Ed, well known both locally and statewide for his distinguished legal career, in 2012 […]
August 3, 2015
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Putting My Own “Spin” on Community

I have never married and I have no children. As I typed that sentence I thought “OMG, I just called myself a spinster!  Surely that can’t be.” Eager to redefine myself, I went online and googled “define spinster.”  One of the first things to pop up was the Urban Dictionary […]
March 23, 2015
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Learning to accept help, kindness was largest lesson

By Fran Parker Tuesday was a red letter day for me.  After seven weeks of being “non-weight bearing” on my right foot, I finally got permission from my doctor to go to “partial weight bearing.”   He said that I was healing well, following my January surgery for a broken […]
January 15, 2015
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It’s time to talk about something unpleasant

By Fran Parker / Mesa County Health Department A month ago, I was intrigued when my friend Sherry told me about this year’s selection for the One Book, One Mesa County program. Mesa County Libraries’ choice for this year’s literary event was Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, by […]
December 17, 2014
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‘She’s starving herself to death’

By Fran Parker / Mesa County Health Department My mother died at the end of October at the age of 87. She didn’t “pass away” or “expire” or “depart.” She died. I’ve never understood why people use euphemisms rather than talk directly about death. Her death certificate says she died […]
October 9, 2014
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Sleeping Her Way to Heaven

By Fran Parker / Mesa County Health Department It doesn’t seem like so very long ago that my mom was frequently chattering, intruding on my solitude and private thoughts. She was always an extrovert. She liked to talk to just about everyone. I, on the other hand, am an introvert, like my […]
August 13, 2014
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Meet Ralph and Louie: My hearing aids

By Fran Parker / Mesa County Health Department   I guess Ralph and Louie are here to stay. They are way too expensive and quite annoying at times, but I’m starting to get used to them. I’m not sure they are helping me, but I feel like I don’t have […]